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EU Moves To Ban Iran Crude Oil

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the crude-just-won't-do-in-the-parlor dept.

Businesses 361

rtoz writes with this snippet from the BBC: "EU member states have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian crude oil to put pressure on the country over its nuclear programme. ... The US, which recently imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, welcomed the news. ... The Iranian state gets more than half of its revenue through the export of crude oil, says the BBC's James Reynolds. If Europe does stop buying, Iran will have to turn to countries in Asia to replace its lost trade, who will demand a discount, he adds."

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Cutting the nose to spite the face (1, Interesting)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595358)

"Guise! Guise! I know! I have it! Listen up, guise! Let's all give China cheap oil, they really need it!"

Sort of like what the new management at /. is doing.
Meh

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (-1, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595394)

China will grow itself into oblivion, but we have decided to hasten the process along in the middle east. Why do you think the nation of Israel was created? You need oil to make war at this point in history. We use up their oil by any means necessary, getting it pumped out of the sand ASAP. You really think China is a threat to the USA?

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595596)

China will grow itself into oblivion

- this a beautiful display of complete nonsense, how very Orwellian.

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596018)

China not a threat? I would call BS. They have been a major threat to the US since they found they are good at wars by proxy. The Korean war was a stalemate. The Vietnam conflict was an easy victory for them. Other places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries where insurgents "mysteriously" get ammo and explosives from somewhere also show this.

Look how they killed the solar industry in the US. Six months ago, /. had the articles about how sites belonging to energy companies were being hacked. Then a few months ago came the solar panel dumping for less than the cost of making them. Now we are sans a complete industry because of this, and MORE dependent on oil/gas while they are happily building the latest, safest nuclear reactors and getting off of coal.

Look how they are securing rare earths and other resources.

China is smart, and extremely brutal. They know that a couple shipments of C4 that mysteriously wind up in a bunch of insurgent hands go a lot further than sending PLA troops in a region. This is how they can win a battle in a theater of conflict without a single member of the Han race ever firing a shot.

China is doing a damn good job at keeping the US stuck on fighting in shithole countries to keep the foreign oil flowing while they are going to a post oil economy.

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596252)

Look how they killed the solar industry in the US.

Let's be clear, China didn't do anything alone. They whipped the slaves, the slaves were industrious, we bought the fruits of their industry. With few exceptions the Chinese are working in conditions of one sort or another which would be illegal here, even if they are not literal slaves literally being whipped. I would imagine that happens less in Solar production and more in cheap crap consumer goods.

As long as we on one hand pass laws which claim to protect the rights of the laborer and on the other hand continue to purchase goods from countries which do not respect any such rights we are continuing to fund our own devastation through the application of hypocrisy.

We choose to purchase goods from China, both at the personal and national level. What effect did you think that would have?

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596380)

Then a few months ago came the solar panel dumping for less than the cost of making them.

This never happened. The Chinese are the cost leaders (save First Solar). They are on razor tight margins and not making money due to interest payments, write downs, etc, but they are damn sure selling panels for more than it takes to produce them. Witness the massive inventory write offs in Q2 - (soon Q4) reports. You're quoting whiny bitch U.S. firms who were out competed and have yet to offer any evidence of dumping. Except for perhaps some insignificant players dumping inventory as part of bankruptcy. FYI, I also think Chinese claims of American firms dumping polysilicon are defensive (e.g. BUNK). You want to know what the real problem is with American firms? Grubby VC money does not foster building sustainable businesses, its setup to make a huge return and dump a hyped up load of over leveraged, under producing shit on unwary investors. Also, most solar firms became ridiculously leveraged (US and foreign) during 07-08 (the height of economy before the crash) and simply could not sustain the growth necessary to pay off debt over the last few years. IMO, the US and Germany should have stepped in to save these companies - they are at least as important as the auto/banking industries, bailouts would have been, literally insignificant compared to the others (think less than the interest on the other bailouts) and without their debt they are profitable & competitive. If they had gotten through this rut (ending 2012-2013) they have valuable technology advantages compared to Chinese firms. Oh well.

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595400)

Actually, you are the one who sounds like the bad manager. "Guise! Guise! I know! Let's not do anything about Iran because we are afraid someone else might benefit".

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (2)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595604)

I don't usually reply to ACs. However.
Where in heck did I say that the GOOD option is to do nothing? I just stated that i think this embargo is a BAD option.

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596324)

Why? Don't we boycott companies who make decisions we disagree with? I have only purchased one album (from a small company) in the past 7 years because the music industry wants us to become China as far as the internet is concerned. Sure, now I can't listen to certain songs whenever I want (because pirating isn't totally OK with me either), but I consider that an acceptable loss if it means the RIAA isn't getting my money.

Now, this move will suck because it's going to jack up gas prices for consumers (and things totally aren't hard enough right now) but I think the US has already done everything it can against the Iranian government that doesn't negatively impact us (and a few things that have).

Honestly, I think we should have "liberated" Iran instead of Iraq (at least the Iranian people have *asked* for help overthrowing their government - still feel pretty guilty about Obama totally blowing off the post-election protests back in '09) but that's a whole other issue right there. The Iranian people really deserve a better government than they currently have. Granted, you could probably say that for most countries, I don't know too many people who are in love with their elected officials right now, but there's "stop spending my money like a drunken sailor" or "no, I don't think I especially like your censored interwebs" and there's "stop shooting at me for talking!" At least when they crack down on protestors here... Well... Pepper spray and rubber bullets hurt. Lead bullets, you're lucky if all it does is hurt.

Re:Cutting the nose to spite the face (1, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596126)

Hilariously, this is exactly what happened in Sudan. West imposed sanctions expecting unfriendly government to fold in expedient manner as such governments did many times before. Suddenly China showed up in Sudan money in hand and now Sudan is selling all of its oil to China rather then to West as it did before, and pretty much entire oil industry is in the hands of Chinese.

Apparently this lesson has not been learned yet. Strange, considering that when Libyan oil started to go into Chinese direction, both EU and US got scared shitless and bombed the country into stone age. I guess this is just incompetence, left hand not learning the same lessons that right hand has learned.

Iran better hurries up (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595380)

Iran 'might' be working on a nuclear bomb and the EU wants to put an embargo on them.
the USA, Russia, India, China, Pakistan and Israel all HAVE nuclear bombs and the EU is happily trading and talking with them.

Conclusion:

Once Iran finishes it's research the EU and Iran will be Best Friends Forever.

Re:Iran better hurries up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595522)

i'm guessing you have no idea how international relations work? it's ok, i remember when i was in grade school

Re:Iran better hurries up (3, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595610)

i'm guessing you have no idea how international relations work? it's ok, i remember when i was in grade school

That's pretty much how it works.

Re:Iran better hurries up (2)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595960)

International relations fall under two categories: Disrespect and Fear.

Re:Iran better hurries up (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596172)

That's why Iran wants the bomb. When you get it, no one pisses all over you over ideology anymore, and your words start to carry weight at international negotiating tables.

We're at war with Eastasia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595432)

Never had a problem with Eurasia. Continue on your way citizens.

Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595434)

We ban crude oil imports, Iran blockades the Straight of Hormuz, the US bombs Iran. They wont even need a dodgy dossier this time around. Here's to another decade of war.

no (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595784)

Iran won't blockade the Straight of Hormuz.

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595816)

However blocking the Strait of Hormuz would be considered by many countries an act of war, not just the US. I'm sure the Saudi's and Kuwaiti's would be none too pleased about an international waterway being blocked. You might very well get support from the UN security council on it...

Re:Here we go again... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595892)

The US is pretty good at conventional warfare, it's the guerilla/urban/CT stuff they suck at, because in those types it's hard to win without becoming as bad as the enemy, and the US citizens don't want that (buncha pansies, right?).

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596032)

US is so good in conventional warfare that is going out from afganistan with empty hands, wasted one trillion in Iraq and goes out with empty hands.
Please, spend trillions more in Iran and goes out with empty hands, fools.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596242)

Afghanistan is about as far as possible from conventional (WW2-style) warfare. Not that I think a conflict with Iran is a good idea, but if there were such a conflict Iran's sad little speedboats and V2-style drones would be wiped out pretty quick. Their best bet would be to bog down the US in another guerilla-combat quagmire.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596052)

Don't worry, President Gingrich won't need to wait for them to blockade anything. He'll just say "Well, they're developing nukes," deliver a "They're going to nuke us all!!!!!" scare speech to the public, and ask for the money for the war from Congress (knowing the Democrats will be too cowardly to say no). And we'll be right back in it--guaranteeing him 4-8 years of passing totalitarian legislation under the guise of "Don't worry. These are just wartime powers."

Re:Here we go again... (2)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596432)

You missed the part where he writes a book first. 'Want to know why we're bombing Tehran? Buy my book, and don't forget the commemorative DVD'

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596136)

Well, our trade, our rules. If Iran can't handle the heat and then tries to blockade something - it's their own fault.

But I think that Iran's leadership won't be that stupid, because it will definitely overthrown them. But if they will - maybe there's reason why all this happens.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596392)

We ban crude oil imports from Iran, and then buy them indirectly from Russia. As we already do. Good thing we aren't in a middle of an economic crysis and can tolerate again an increase in fuel prices. Oh wait...

Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (4, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595460)

All they need is to withdraw from the NPT. Iran has a perfect right to develop nuclear weapons, and a very plausible reason of deterring foreign invasion, given what happened to Iraq. Why pretend not to have a nuclear program when nobody believes you? At least they could take the "no comment" approach that Israel has.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (2)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595552)

If Iran tried to play the 'We have a right to Nuclear Weapons' card, the only question would be who drops the first bomb; Israel or the US?

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (2)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595758)

It would be Israel, and the following day the US would put out a statement saying that they didn't know about the bombing plans (lie) but they support it (truth). The actual airplanes which drop the bombs might not have Israeli markings, as they didn't then Libya got nailed, but no doubt it would be Israel.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596122)

the only question would be who drops the first bomb; Israel or the US?

Which will lead to the question "How did World War III begin?" on some history student's pop-quiz 50 years from now.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595558)

Look at what happened to Iraq when they bluffed and postured about (still) having a nuclear program, refused access to inspectors, that sort of thing.

The fact that they were doing this to deter Iran is quite ironic.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595674)

Look at what happened to Iraq when they bluffed and postured about (still) having a nuclear program, refused access to inspectors, that sort of thing.

You mean the Iraq where the weapon inspectors said 'no, Iraq doesn't have WMDs' but Colin Powell said 'Iraq does so have WMDs, I have pictures of these kebab vans, sorry, chemical weapons vans' and... uh... they didn't?

BTW, didn't the claims of Iraqui WMDs come from an Iranian agent because Iran wanted Bush to invade and get rid of Saddam Hussein and put their friends in power?

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (3, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595856)

Well, it is not that clear and cut shenanigans. Hussein *had* chemical and biological WMDs. Hussein had plans for nukes. These - and the fact that he used it against it's own nation and enemy in Iran's war - were reasons for sanctions. Which in the end were very effective, because it pushed Hussein to liquidate his WMD program (yes, they also did lot of harm to common crowd, I know). That's a nice and small side note everyone rush to forget. It was also a reason which gave leaders of the world benefit of doubt here.

So did Bush and co knew it is very high propability that weapons are gone? I bet they knew. CIA knew this. Military knew this. But still they decided to act? My guess - spending government money on military contracts and contractors. But I think they didn't thought this trough, and they never got friends they wanted to be installed as leaders of "great Iraqi nation".

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595912)

Well, it is not that clear and cut shenanigans. Hussein *had* chemical and biological WMDs.

Well, we know that because we sold them to him. But the inspectors went looking for them and said 'he doesn't have any any more'. And Bush invaded anyway.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596016)

Well, that's what I said :)

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595588)

Why pretend not to have a nuclear program when nobody believes you?

They believe the ambiguity serves their goals.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595638)

Because they're a bunch of nuts.

Whatever reason the US has for adding sanctions doesn't really matter, but if you live in the EU, so close to those crazies you'll see no problem with EU's sanctions.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595710)

Whatever reason the US has for adding sanctions doesn't really matter, but if you live in the EU, so close to those crazies you'll see no problem with EU's sanctions.

I read last night that Greece is apparently getting most of its oil from Iran because no-one else will let them buy on credit when they're clearly bankrupt. So the Greeks may be pissed.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595738)

Because they don't want to get bombed the day after making the announcement. As it is, they're pretty close to getting bombed anyway.

It's cute to talk about the "right" to make nukes, but at the end of the day that's meaningless rhetoric. The point is that the current policy of the people who run the free world, is that only stable democracies are tolerated to have nukes. Iran is neither stable nor a democracy, so the world will not tolerate it having nukes. Well, I mean, the world doesn't want to tolerate it -- Iran can outrun the world by doing an above-ground successful nuke test, at which point they (like Pakistan) will have the deterrent necessary to prevent the bombing which they are otherwise daring the world to carry out.

Up to now, the world has decided to use computer viruses instead of bombings to stymie Iran's efforts. We'll see what happens in 2012.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595760)

"Why pretend not to have a nuclear program when nobody believes you?"

Because that's Iran's modus operandi.

Just like they claim to be a peaceful country, citing the fact they've not invaded a foreign country in their history, whilst funding entire proxy armies in countries like Lebanon that have ousted the legitimate government and military so that Iran can attack their arch foe Israel by proxy.

Iran doesn't do direct, because it knows it can't win in direct confrontation. It relies on doing things subversively, because that way it can claim to be a good international citizen, and it's allies like Venezuela and Syria can feign shock, and hate, and cry imperialism if anyone dares try and act over what we all know Iran is actually doing.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595844)

Come on, Israel can and Iran can't?

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595818)

Why pretend not to have a nuclear program when nobody believes you?

If anyone believed Iran had nuclear weapons or was close to building some, why would they be threatening to attack them?

Western threats against Iran are pretty clear proof that Western leaders don't really believe they have nukes or are likely to do so in the near future.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595936)

Because Islam forbids to create such weapons (their words, not mine), maybe because they are creating it for offensive means, like punishing Israel or Western infidels for their existence. Could be a lot of things.

World somehow doesn't have problem with Pakistan having nukes, never mind to their shaky problems (and nice support for Taliban in their several military wings). So maybe pissing West off thousand times, oppressing inner opposition would have something to do with a fact that nobody - even Russia - trusts Iran fully anymore.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (3)

Bomazi (1875554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596162)

The NPT is a deal that gives a signatory access to nuclear technology in exchange for the promise not to develop weapons. Since Iran doesn't not have a nuclear weapon program, it is not in their interest to withdraw, since they would then no longer be able to buy fuel, advice or technology from a NPT member.

As for the consequence of a withdrawal: In theory, they could withdraw and do whatever they wanted, but that assumes that the security council follows international law. Remember India ? They didn't sign the NPT yet were sanctionned when they conducted nuclear tests. Being punished for violating a treaty you didn't sign is an interesting concept, yet that's the world we live in. The US is also pushing for the NPT to be obligatory for all UN members (with an exemption for Israel of course). If Iran withdrew, the US would interpret the move as an admission of the existence of a nuclear weapon program, and that would be bad.

The real issue is that the US wants to deny Iran any dual-use technology. It doesn't matter that enrichment for peaceful purpose if perfectly legal or that there is not proof of the existence of a military program in Iran. As long as the US maintains that position and as long as Iran refuses to abandon its right to technological development and energy security, there will be no solution.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596402)

Also since the only benefit to withdrawing from the NPT would be the ability to have a nuclear weapons program, it's kind of a "last chance for a preemptive nuclear strike" flag to all the nuclear powers out there.

Re:Why does Iran deny having a nuclear programme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596224)

If Shia Iran pulled out of the NPT, why wouldn't the Suni countries on the Arabian peninsula (read "Saudi Arabia") not do the same?

The US and Israel are known quantities, so much so that the Saudis and their Suni neighbors are more than content to quietly let the infidels do their dirty work for them. If Shia dropped the pretense of not having nuclear weapons, there's no reason for the Sunis to maintain the pretense of tolerating Iran's continued existence.

The EU are surely better than this... (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595464)

...I mean, they should know that sanctions do not work, never have and more than probably never will.

If Iran ends up having to look for new markets in Asia, with the Asian demanding a discount, Iranians will offer the discount, but maintain revenues by pumping more.

Remember, Iran and other gulf oil states have billions and billions of oil in wells. Adding extra pumps or bringing new wells online is not that hard.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595498)

Errr, which part of "global recession" you don't get it? There is not that much demand for oil, and those who demand require solid cuts of prices. Also never mind that lot of these countries are actually self-sufficient in oil needs too.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595574)

Errr, which part of "global recession" you don't get it? There is not that much demand for oil, and those who demand require solid cuts of prices.

Uh, yeah. That'll be why oil is over $100 a barrel.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595664)

Errr, which part of "global recession" you don't get it? There is not that much demand for oil, and those who demand require solid cuts of prices.

Uh, yeah. That'll be why oil is over $100 a barrel.

One would wonder why it is so expensive since there is an infinite amount of oil in the ground.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596312)

Nope. Oil is $100/bbl. because of bad monetary policy, not because of the supply/demand dynamics of oil.

No! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595586)

Also never mind that lot of these countries are actually self-sufficient in oil needs too.

There is not a single country in Asia that does not import oil. In fact, without Asia, an EU ban on Iranian oil imports will not bite [wsj.com] . What are you smoking?

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (5, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596132)

There is not that much demand for oil,

Oh really? world oil demand 1996-2012.png [internetional.se]

Also never mind that lot of these countries are actually self-sufficient in oil needs too.

Can you name a single EU country that is self-sufficient in oil? EU is a net importer, it has to buy on the world market, restricting supply by refusing to buy from one country means that the price goes up (unless other suppliers have the motivation and resources to increase supply at no cost, which seems doubtful in this case).

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595524)

Billions and billions of oil - wow, that much?

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595540)

Iran can even maintain prices by having exercises, missile tests, and making threats regularly. It's worked before.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595906)

"...I mean, they should know that sanctions do not work, never have and more than probably never will."

Well, they have, and can. I agree sometimes they're a waste of time, but in this particular case there is some hope.

You see, citizens rise up when their standard of living becomes unbearable, we've seen more of this in recent years, and it's no coincidence that the arab spring et al has happened at a time of global turmoil - the decrease in quality of life and increase in unemployment caused by the current global financial crisis was a major driver in starting the arab spring, and even the Iranian protests a year or two before.

Iran has already seen mass protests in recent years, just not quite enough to reach a tipping point and cause an overthrow of Iran's leadership. Sanctions on Iran right now are potentially quite effective because the Iranian government is stuck between a rock and a hard place, if they keep spending on their nuclear programme they'll have less money to placate the general population and face protests from greater numbers and with greater intensity.

Iran already has an extremely large portion of unhappy citizens, lowering quality of life there by harming it's economy will force it to make cuts, including to it's military and nuclear budget, or will force it to make cuts that lower quality of life for the populace leading to mass protests again. WIth the backdrop of the arab spring this last year, and Syria (Iran's biggest support in suppressing it's people) already facing the same thing, such a protest movement will only be more emboldened than ever.

In this case, sanctions are surely a much more sensible approach than anything military when there's a chance that Iran can be sorted out by Iranians. Bringing new pumps online and increasing infrastructure for greater oil production is easy... if you have the money and support of companies like BP, Exxon, etc. to help you. Iran has neither.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595962)

You see, citizens rise up when their standard of living becomes unbearable

Yes, they do. And when their standard of living has become unbearable because of something another country has done to them, they come together and rise up against that other country, not their own government.

Sanctions are usually beneficial for repressive governments, because they provide an external enemy.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596164)

"Yes, they do. And when their standard of living has become unbearable because of something another country has done to them, they come together and rise up against that other country, not their own government."

Yes, if the populace is supportive of it's government in the first place. In Iran that's not the case, as previous demonstrations have shown.

There are strong sanctions against Syria too, but blaming those putting in place the sanctions clearly hasn't helped said leadership or emboldened the population against the external threat.

I know your point is a popular one, but there seems little evidence backing it, Castro hasn't managed to do a great job of deflecting blame on the US amongst his people, either for example. People generally know when their government is being punished by external forces simply because their government is carrying out an international penis measuring contest. Patriotism wanes pretty quickly in the face of the far more important basic will to avoid starvation and survive.

Re:The EU are surely better than this... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596072)

Well, if the purpose of sanctions is to have citizens rise up then they do work. The EU should stay the course and continue towing this line.

If on the other hand, their purpose is to force change in a government's direction, then their score is close to zero I am afraid. Now, let's see where common-sense lies.

Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595472)

Another move to artificially increase the already artificially high price of oil. I live in the UK and can barely afford to leave the house to go to work as it is.

Re:Oh great (1, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595554)

Another move to artificially increase the already artificially high price of oil. I live in the UK and can barely afford to leave the house to go to work as it is.

Just wait until the next President bombs Iran and Iran starts firing missiles at oil tankers. $500 a barrel, anyone?

It's almost like the US and EU are in a joint suicide pact.

Re:Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595676)

Nonsense - the US and EU have looked to the East and seen what the lower standard of living and wages have done for the bottom line of their multinational puppeteers. It's just a matter of implementing that solution.

Re:Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595814)

It's almost like the US and EU are in a joint suicide pact.

More like the US and EU are trying to one-up each other on the way down: "ha! we just gave ourselves a mortgage debt crisis!" "oh yeah! well our sovereign debt crisis makes your mortgage debt crisis look insignificant!"

Re:Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595904)

What are you on about? Ron Paul won't ever bomb Iran.

Re:Oh great (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596400)

Ron Paul didn't win Iowa and his very small chance at the Republican nomination is now even smaller.

It'll be President Obamney doing the bombing.

Eu is US's bitch (2, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595476)

I don't agree with the way Iran's government thinks, but it seems clear that the US government, especially the Republicans, are spoiling for another pointless and costly war, so are pressurising Iran with punitive sanctions in order to make them take the first punch so that the US can justify it.

Even if Iran is developing a nuke, it isn't the job or right of the US to be world police. Why is it that the west can make nukes but not other countries?

Its sad to see the EU isn't using some independent judgement instead of just falling into line with US policy and acting like the US's bitch.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595614)

Why is it that the west can make nukes but not other countries?

Because AIPAC says so.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595644)

Consider the issues with religious extremism in the Middle East, and compare that with our own issues with religious extremism during The Crusades.

Now, imagine that we had nukes back then. The world would have either been Christian or irradiated. This is why we're not happy about Iran, South Korea, Iraq etc having WMDs in this period of their civilisations' evolution; They need their Enlightenment first, and the Arab Spring is the start.

Religion still plays a significant part of their political climates, and a fundamentalist with their finger on a world-ending bomb is nobody's idea of a happy Christmas. Unfortunately, the only way we can try and stop these people from getting such cataclysmically lethal weaponry (short of turning the place to glass) is to stop buying their crap so they get really poor and have to end their nuclear programmes. Hey, it's better than sending our sons over to be maimed by a roadside bomb, right?

Re:Eu is US's bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595734)

*North Korea?

Re:Eu is US's bitch (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595880)

Thanks for the clarification. No doubt every post contradicting my point will use this error as a stick to beat me with, so best to say "sorry" before it starts.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596048)

Another way to look at it is that the Middle East is ahead of the Western world: They've already been through their enlightenment and are coming out of the authoritarian, theocratic dark age that the West is now headed for. Maybe it all goes in cycles?

Re:Eu is US's bitch (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596214)

Another way to look at it is that the Middle East is ahead of the Western world: They've already been through their enlightenment and are coming out of the authoritarian, theocratic dark age that the West is now headed for.

By electing Islamic governments?

Re:Eu is US's bitch (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596414)

The religious right in the US has been getting more vocal and agitated, with candidates like Rick Perry, Palin and Bachmann getting serious attention. Anti-islamic sentiment is clearly spreading. If things go down that path who's to say there won't be a Crusades 2.0?

Re:Eu is US's bitch (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596264)

At least out authoritarian overlords won't bomb the crap out of everyone because their imaginary sky friend said so; Nobody would be left to watch the adverts between X-Factor and TOWIE.

Of course these things go in cycles. Or more accurately, they shift from one medium to another. Previously we worshipped at the church of the bearded dude in the sky, now we worship at the church of the bald-headed dude with the polo-neck. The difference is that our new gods are corporeal, and don't tell us to blow up heathens and stone women who show their faces in public.

Judicious use of ~ here.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596276)

They who said "They need their Enlightenment first", never asked "They" if they really want that. Nobody is entitled to "help" nations to reach "Enlightenment". Muslims become religious extremists because those who wanted to "help" them in fact instigated and radicalized them. This is the consequence of interventionism. Another consequence is that interventionism costs the lives of too many people. The paradox is that nobody is prosecuted for such crimes.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (2)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595658)

Maybe because the US is not run by a crazy bastard? At least not until 2013.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595722)

Errr, how sanctions are exactly pushing for war? Trading embargos are much less cruel tool, and more effective one (it destroyed Sadam, by the way). In fact, Republicans calling for blood for a year or so and call Obama pussy on Iran. They actually don't care about sanctions, they think it's never gonna work, they just want to go to Crusade and fulfill prophecies about Armageddon.

And no, please just stop right here about US and world police. US have done lot of things wrong, but with Iran I'm fully supportive. Obama has been *very* careful with them. US political support for Israel is all time low (as much US would go anyway). They stayed out of Arab spring - except for Libya when Quaddafi simply went South with his "no one can refuse me" thing. They even ignored that most of their supportive friends in Middle East were thrown out.

In fact, current Iran's government must go not because of nuke. It must go because they also have lost any connection with reality (welcome would be with their nutheads religious leaders). All their position is - "We hatin West and Israel and must destroy it! Must!". While common Persians are simply fed up with them. We criticize Israel because of their nationalist government who won't listen to reason. Why Iran should be any different?

Remember - just because someone opposes "Western thinking" which you I assume are very keen to critize, it doesn't give him a free ticket for a insanity ride.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595764)

US and EU are instigating Iran into a new war with thousands of innocent people killed like it was in Irak, Afganistan and Lybia.
Who is responsible for such crimes against humanity? I feel we are living on Hitler's period of cruel wars.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (0)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595838)

You make made a synecdochic [wikipedia.org] mistake. It's not that "the West" is allowed to make nukes, but rather that stable democracies are allowed to make nukes. And by "allowed" I mean that is the policy of the powerful people in the world. The United States wasn't worried that India built the bomb; but it was worried that Pakistan built the bomb.

I'll close with a swipe at the UK, which is allowed to have nukes even though they are a theocratic monarchy, and not a democracy. Chalk that up to cronyism and power politics.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596030)

Hahaha, theocratic monarchy... You clearly aren't from the UK. The "ruling" monarch has such important duties as welcoming foreign dignitaries, visiting poor people, and talking rubbish at Christmas. We're run by a parliament, and if the Queen ever decided that wasn't going to work out, dissolution of the monarchy would be instantaneous.

Think of the royal family of the UK as a tourist attraction, and something to talk about in the tabloid press, and you wouldn't be far wrong.

Re:Eu is US's bitch (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38596198)

We're run by a parliament

If you ignore the fact that about 80% of the laws are written in Brussels and rubber-stamped in Westminster. Parliament is about as relevant as the Queen these days; they both get to sign the laws, but they don't write them and haven't rejected one in decades.

Not so helpful (4, Interesting)

stomv (80392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595504)

The EU nations import 8.5 million barrels a day. USA: 13.5. Japan: 5.5. China: 4.5. South Korea: 2.5. Get *all* of those nations to ban Iran crude and you'll substantially affect Iranian prices for the worse (and prices within the embargoing nations for the worse, too). Just EU? Meh. EU plus USA? Still meh since in fact most of the current USA's imports come from the Americas. But EU, USA, Japan, SKorea? Now we're talking. As Iran goes further and further down the list of importing nations they start having to deal with shipping into smaller ports, into ports which can't take as much oil as quickly, etc. Less efficient transactions and less efficient shipping, and potentially for a lower base price because the countries agreeing to buy Iranian oil will have negotiating leverage.

In the mean time, it wouldn't be the worst thing for each of the potentially embargoing nations to figure out how to reduce the oil required for each unit of GDP, health, or any other metric of "goodness" that the nation uses. After all, an oil embargo hurts both trade partners, but reducing demand hurts the seller and improves conditions for the (former) buyer.

Re:Not so helpful (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595582)

US does not import oil from Iran.

Better idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595534)

Tell Saudi Arabia we won't act against the iranian nuclear program unless they sell us cheaper oil.

Okay, enough! (0, Offtopic)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595546)

What does this have to do with the premise of Technology News? I mean this is CNN shit, why do we have it posting on here? Is the EU somehow going to use IPADs or something new like embedding RFID into the oil to know that it came from Iran?!?!? Come on, this is getting annoying!

Re:Okay, enough! (2)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595888)

Ohai. This is Slashdot. It's not "technology news", it's "news for nerds". The mistake is easy to make, but it is a mistake nevertheless. If you want "technology news" you can try Engadget or TechCrunch or something. Good luck.

Nothing changes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595594)

Innocuous, China, Africa and Asia will absorb.

Japan is already one of Iran's biggest customers (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595618)

In fact a few years back(not sure if this is still in effect), Iran essentially asked Japan to pay in yen [bloomberg.com] (which of course in hindsight seems incredibly wise, as the yen has almost doubled in value since then), one of the first really big oil contracts to be denominated in a currency other than dollars. Should be an interesting diplomacy game to see if Washington is even able to convince Japan to restrict Iranian oil imports....

Regardless, this is the stupidity of Bush's cowboy diplomacy and Obama's kowtowing to Republicans coming home to roost. We are certainly going to be paying a lot for letting the man-child try to impress daddy and play war general.

Re:Japan is already one of Iran's biggest customer (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595776)

Obama's kowtowing to Republicans

I think you mis-spelt 'neo-cons', who are mostly ex-Trots.

News Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595656)

Gas prices triple! Riots and chao ensue...

The US is pretty much at war with Iran already (1, Flamebait)

RStonR (2471390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595724)

The utterly corrupt [in-other-news.com] Obama administration is not satisfied with wars in Uganda, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and wherever I currently don't remember.

Obama has already made several steps towards war, and to say that the drone-campaign will continue [foxnews.com] is just the last step.

People were furious about Bush lies to start the wars. Obama has found the solution! Just don't talk about it, the people at home don't seem to care.

Re:The US is pretty much at war with Iran already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595970)

You, and everybody else on here who think that the Obama administration wants war, are deluded, sir.

Nobody wants war. They simply want what comes after a victorious war.

If you are going to troll, make an attempt to troll somewhat accurately.

World Government (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595772)

Sovereignty of EU "nations" has been completely thrown out of the window, first by establishing the EU government and then by completely giving in to all of these nonsense US and UN driven deals.

Of-course with most of Europe being welfare states and not actually working for what they are consuming (and most of US being in the same position), the interests of the individuals and the sovereignty of nations are completely disregarded in order to provide the continuation of the unsustainable life styles that are not paid for by those enjoying them.

This is a 'bread and circuses' culture that has been bred throughout the 'first world' countries, it's going to end the economies of those very countries, but not before they suck the life out of everything they can get their hands on always through police/military means.

They used to 'pay' for this 'welfare' with taxes of working individuals (so this was done with police force), now that the investment left those countries because of the unsustainable economic 'welfare' and counterfeiting, and the jobs now are elsewhere, they can't even tax enough to spend on their lifestyles, so now it's the job of the military to harass and steal from others, who still have something.

It was Iraq, then it will be Iran, but eventually it will have to be the actual producer nations, who will end the supply of all of the goods that are entering the welfare zones, so eventually it will be Asia and South America.

It's better for China to recognize what the danger is [slashdot.org] sooner than later and stop subsidizing the US and European war machine.

Re:World Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595982)

Sadly I have to agree. The current situation is worse than dictatorial times of Hitler and Stalin because today there is a evil cooperation between corrupted world powers.

And why shouldnt iran have nuclear weapons ? (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595896)

pray tell me. if you say 'they are a hardliner state', you will find israel MUCH more hardliner than any other country on the planet. just listen to what liebermann says (external affairs minister of israel). you'll be dumbfounded. just watch what gets publicly spoken in one of their leading party assemblies. youll be appalled.

the signs that israel has nuclear capability is always dodged by all international agencies and governments. yet, iran gets the heat for less.

or maybe it is because only countries that are either in angloamerican or russian alliances are entitled to have nuclear weapons ?

never mind. the question was rhetorical.

silliest idea yet (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38595908)

Oil is a fungible commodity. Which particular buyer will be buying depends only on the cost of delivery. If Iran's oil is being sold to Europe, that just means that it's cheaper to deliver it to Europe than it is to deliver it to Asia. Delivering it to the buyers to whom it is more expensive to deliver will do nothing but increase the world-wide cost of oil by introducing a less-than-optimal delivery cost into the overall delivery mechanism.

Poor middle class (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38595968)

The only people this hurts is the middle class. Iranian will be bought no matter what. China and India have surging populations and crazy demands for fuel. EU's price of oil will rise since they are not buying it and will only hurt the working class in the long run.

Slashdot goes political? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596096)

It must be a really lazy day if /. editors decided to post this, strictly political news.

What a problem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596318)

Hell of a problem to have, too much oil. Wonder what that would be like for their society, if Iran wasn't a draconian 2nd world country.

Same warmongering scenario as before (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38596434)

The powers that be want war against Iran.

This follows the usual pattern. Media hysteria over "the other." Claims that there are weapons or threats that don't exist. Governments in various alliances take steps both inside and outside public view to pressure "the other." The aggressor governments target the economy of "the other" in order to do one of two things, force them to capitulate, or force an outright war.

This is what happens in almost every case of unjust and unfounded war.

Iran is no nest of angels. The current government is pretty bad, but they aren't the threat they're painted as. Notice though, that they, like anybody else, get more threatening when threatened themselves. If you force a shooting war with these people, you're asking for trouble. These are not a few hundred country-less scumbags living in caves. They have an legitimate mandate of being a government, have more resources, and are much smarter.

Anybody that wants to talk about Iran and terrorism has to understand that from the Iranian viewpoint they're gotten nothing but shit from the west for decades. They had an elected official overthrown by US and British forces and had an oil "friendly" government installed in 1953. There was a coup in 1979 and since then they've had constant harsh rhetoric and various "actions" taken against them. For example, a strange invasion by a then US friendly dictator named Saddam Hussein. Hussein, with support from the US killed somewhere between 600,000 and 850,000 Iranians. Also consider 290 civilian deaths from the Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, which was shot down by a guided missile from the USS Vincennes "by mistake." They've had various economic sanctions since 1979. And let's not forget that they're had numerous US special forces military and drone incursions since 2003. This is just the notable stuff, many other things have be done.

Again, the Iranian government are not angels and rainbows, but they have been threatened and messed with by outside governments for decades. If the situations where reversed, and it was the US that was under this pressure, would it not make sense to take actions to defend ourselves? No one in any position of power wants to accept this.

I think the sanctions will fail. Historically, in the 180-190 times they've been tried, they've only worked 30% of the time. 70% failure rate. Usually, it tends to make the people in said country rally around their leaders, against a common enemy. In some cases, it makes the government in question lash out and "fire the first shot." This is especially damning in peacetime if you don't win, because then, you look like the aggressor.

I expect war soon, both sides are getting too crazy and belligerent.

When I see the news today, I want to ask a lot of people, "How's that 'change' working out?"

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